Boston Bruins: 10 Biggest Highlights on the 2012-13 Season Schedule
The 2012-13 NHL season, assuming everything starts as planned, will be another one of those years that Boston Bruins fans will have to wait for the circus to clear out before their team finally has its home opener in the latter half of October.
But starting four days after Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are finished doing their thing Oct. 10-14, New England puckheads will be rewarded for their patience with a six-game homestand.
On the opposite extreme, similar to each of the previous two seasons, the Bruins will spend the entire second half of February on the road, playing seven straight away from the TD Garden.
The schedule, which begins with an Oct. 11 visit to Philadelphia, includes a home and road game apiece with three non-conference opponents in Chicago, Colorado and Phoenix. There will also be five home-and-home sets―one with every Northeast Division rival, plus another with the Flyers.
Barring any offseason transactions bearing an intriguing “Return of Player X” storyline, the 10 dates most worth highlighting on the Bruins’ 2012-13 slate are as follows.
Saturday, October 13
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The last two recipients of the Prince of Wales Trophy will not need to wait long to cross paths, as the Bruins’ second scheduled game has then venturing into the Prudential Center.
Thursday, October 18
Opening night at TD Garden will be the second half of a home-and-home series with the rival Montreal Canadiens. And it will commence a six-game homestand to round out the calendar month.
Friday, November 2
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
The Bruins will conduct their first tilt with the Washington Capitals since Joel Ward terminated their title defense in overtime on this night at the Verizon Center.
Friday, November 23
For the second consecutive season, an Original Six adversary will entertain the annual Black Friday matinee, as the Bruins open their season series with the New York Rangers.
No official word from the league or the network on whether this, like last year’s tilt with the Detroit Red Wings, will be the NHL on NBC’s Thanksgiving Showdown, although Yahoo! Sports blogger Greg Wyshynski is reporting as much.
But the presence of the defending Eastern Conference regular season champions and the Boston-New York matchup bodes well in that area, assuming NBC decides to kick up the new tradition.
And like the aforementioned Montreal game, this will likewise be Part I of a six-game homestand continuing through a Dec. 3 tangle with the Phoenix Coyotes.
Monday, December 17
In the very middle of yet another protracted homestand, the 2011 champions will welcome the 2012 champion Los Angeles Kings.
Saturday, December 22
It’s the Capitals' first visit to TD Garden since that fateful Game 7 in April. Need I say more?
Saturday, December 29
The Bruins will pay their first trip to Rogers Arena since wresting away the Stanley Cup from the host Vancouver Canucks on June 15, 2011. Will 18 months between visits and nearly a full year between any matchups be enough to cool off what some take for a non-conference rivalry?
Monday, January 21
This Martin Luther King Day matinee will constitute the first of three home bouts with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And there is a distinct possibility that all three of the draft picks that completed the Phil Kessel trade―Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton and Jared Knight―will be in uniform.
Translation: Boston buffs will have more ample opportunity than ever to elicit the never-tiring “Thank you, Kes-sel!” chant.
Saturday-Sunday, March 30-31
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
A rare home-and-home on back-to-back days will be waged between the Bruins and Flyers, beginning with a Saturday matinee at TD Garden and a Sunday night bout at the Wells Fargo Center.
Friday, April 5
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
The last of four battles between the two black and gold battalions will be played on this night in Pittsburgh, with only three games on the schedule thereafter.
Depending on the course of the contesting teams’ seasons, this could have noteworthy implications as to the Eastern Conference playoff bracket.